York County might not have to ban "fake pot."
A bill moving through the South Carolina Legislature to ban the substance statewide might make any county ban "superfluous," 16th Circuit Solicitor Kevin Brackett told the York County Council at its meeting Thursday night.
A bill banning synthetic marijuana was passed 40-0 in the state Senate this month. It's now before the S.C. House, where it was referred to the judiciary committee Wednesday. A statewide ban might be in effect as early as summer, Brackett said.
York County hasn't had a widespread problem with synthetic marijuana, but it could become one if left unchecked, York County Sheriff Bruce Bryant said.
Also known as K2 or spice, synthetic marijuana consists of chemicals added to a blend of herbs. It's often marketed as incense and not for human consumption.
But critics say that's just a way to get it into youths' hands.
When smoked, the substance is said to mimic the effects marijuana. Side effects include headaches, nausea, vomiting, and more serious health risks, officials say.
In November, the federal Drug Enforcement Agency moved quickly to add several chemicals found in fake pot to the government's most restrictive drug category along with heroin and LSD.
Brackett warned that no one can be sure what they're really ingesting, especially when manufacturers modify the chemicals to skirt drug laws.
"To smoke it you might as well just grab something under your sink and drink it," he said.
The state bill will make sure any synthetic marijuana is banned "no matter how they tinker with the formula," Brackett said.
Wanting to see what happens with the state bill, the County Council gave a second of three required approvals of its own ban before tabling the proposal.
In honor of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, the council declared May "Confederate History and Heritage Month" in York County.
Doing so hopefully will "encourage all residents to increase their knowledge of the role played by the Confederate States of America in the history of our true nation, Dixieland," said a proclamation, read by Councilman Bruce Henderson.
Councilman Curwood Chappell lamented slavery and said he's honored to have his "good friend Bump Roddey" - the council's only black member - as a fellow citizen.
While he spoke, Chappell held Roddey's hand.
In a light-hearted moment, Roddey responded by thanking Chappell, saying, "I can tell Mr. Chappell meant those words because I could feel his pulse in his hand."
Then he commented on Chappell's still-strong grip.
Final museum vote
At its May 2 meeting, the York County Council will hold a public hearing and consider giving the final approval needed to implement a plan to change the way the county's museums are governed.
The plan calls for shrinking the commission, eliminating some staff by merging some museum office functions with the county, and establishing new guidelines for governing.